One of the words that you might use when trying to recommend Battles, is "if". IF you are prepared to fall in love with vocals that are swarmed with helium, IF you are prepared to listen to an album an excessive amount of times to let it grow on you, IF you want to know about the future of music, listen to and love Battles.
Math Rock, Post Rock, whatever. This is weird, but there is a very large chance that you will worship this record for the next few years. It could become one of those manifesto's for bands that want to cause a stir in the music industry with inventive, out of control with originality, music.
But what did you expect? With titles like 'Ddiamondd' and 'Leyendecker', you were hardly going to get an album that you could listen and relax to with a cup of coffee at 10 in the evening, were you?
The pure aim of Battle's debut album is to make you think outside of the box. Don't just hear it, think about what you are hearing, think about the exceedingly large amount of work that went into 'Mirrored', imagine making this record. When you do that, you're likely to have got a connection with it, and then just maybe, you will see through everything that could possibly put you off ever listening to it again.
Someone said about 'Mirrored', that it was like a video game, a video game that you are winning! It truly does feel like that, especially in moments like 'Tonto', which has the production levels of a Panda Bear song, and the feel of it gradually grows on you throughout. During the song, you feel like you could be in the 30th century, driving a flying car at unbelievable speeds, feeling like you're in a race and feeling like you're winning.
It's gently done, but 'Mirrored' is like a form of hypnosis. It messes with your head in ways that you will accept it to do but there is no chance whatsoever that this record will have no effect on you, good or bad. This wouldn't happen but if everybody in the world listened to 'Mirrored', there wouldn't be another album that could divide opinions as much. It's similar to nothing. It's inventive, and may well go down as one of the outstanding records of the 21st century, or not. It'll be a close one.
Maybe I haven't got any evidence for what I've stated yet, so I'll give some examples. 'Rainbow' is an-almost instrumental that sounds like 1000 voices shouting at you, it's extraordinary, how any of the sounds you are hearing could have been intentional, rehearsed, actually written down originally, is unbelievable. It sums up the record in a nutshell, you are never sure of what you are hearing, and you may never decide whether you like it or not. The vocals that end the song sound similar to TV On The Radio, passion, proudness, insanity.
'Atlas' is the track that most people will be talking about though. This is where we have the helium vocals, the vocals that grow on you like a beanstalk, until your opinion of it couldn't be more positive. It's a 21st century song, something that nobody would have gotten away with at any other time. Maybe we can all thank Radiohead's 'Kid A' for braving the edge and going one step further, the step that we all wanted music to go to. The vocals don't just become lovable, the drums are commanding, they tighten a grip on your head and keep you listening. 2 and a half minutes in, everything's completely bonkers and surely that's how Battles like it. It becomes vast, one of the most extraordinary things you may hear in your lifetime so far and by the time you reach the closer 'Race:Out' you'll either be left emotionless or in hysterical joy.
Without doubt, something that will take a lot to get used to.
Without doubt, something that will control thousands of peoples music tastes for the next 10 years.